Our History

 We invite you to learn more about our history and story here. 

Our story began over 100 years ago, McPherson Funeral Services has been serving the Cranbrook, Kimberley, Columbia Valley, and surrounding areas since 1911. As far as our records show the funeral home was originally located on Tenth Avenue, at that time “Norbury Street,” the building was to the left of Cranbrook City Hall.                    

The original name of the funeral home was F.M MacPherson & Sons owned at that time by our founder Frank Mitchell MacPherson. MacPherson ran the funeral home as well as Hanson’s Garage for many years, in 1928 he was elected as MLA for Cranbrook. Coincidentally he would later sell the funeral home to a man by the name of Angus McPherson. Angus soon after renamed the funeral home McPherson Funeral Services. Angus ran the funeral home with staff like Gordon Willis, and many others over the years, Angus died in 1957. Willis would then take over and run the funeral home until his retirement from funeral service in 1970. 

After Willis’s retirement Ross O. Dixon purchased and ran the funeral home, with staff members like managing director Dick Bothamley, Liz Bothamley, Bryan Watts, Chaz Price and Ed Sanderson. It was Dixon who in 1971 would open a much larger facility located at 2200 2nd Street South in Cranbrook.

The new location opened in October of that year, and would consist of a 180-person chapel, separate visitation facilities and lots of space for families to comfortably make final arrangements. This new facility would be put to its ultimate test; on February 11, 1978, when a Pacific Western Airplane crash occurred at the Canadian Rockies International Airport. 42 people tragically lost their lives. 2200 2nd St South became the central facility for many autopsies as well as all embalming needs. Funeral Staff worked 24/7 for the first week or so after the accident. For the victims of the crash that did not live locally, McPherson’s provided transportation to bring their loved ones home. Services for those locally were carried out in the following weeks. Shortly before the PWA disaster Dixon had sold the funeral home in September of 1977 to John M. Chasca. Ross Dixon passed away in March of 1978, he was survived by his wife and 3 children.

Throughout the early 1900’s McPherson’s also has had locations in Kimberley, B.C. The first location was on Wallinger Ave, down from the Credit Union, later moving to Deer Park Ave, just down from the old Canadian Hotel. In 1993 a new location was Built consisting of a much larger facility allowing for services and receptions to take place together, located at 1885 Warren Ave Kimberley, B.C., where it currently sits today. Two of its many notable staff members were Dick Burke and Bruno Fabro.

John ran McPherson’s for the first few years with help from staff members; Byron Renolds, Sam Mcleary, Herb Conroy and Leon Clorec. In 1981 McPherson’s and Cranbrook welcomed a new managing director Gordon C. Murphy. Gordon would run the funeral home for the next 25 years making a lasting impact with the families of the community. In 1991 McPherson’s welcomed Brian Taylor who worked alongside Gordon for many years. In 2001 McPherson’s Cranbrook location added building additions, including much needed office space, and a reception center. This made the process of holding a service and reception together much more convenient. After Gordon retired, John’s daughter Sharla took over the role as managing director. John, Dane along with the McPherson’s team continues to hold the trust of the families they meet with to the up most high standards, and always strive for exceptional service to the communities in our area. 

The last 2-3 decades has seen many changes in the funeral profession throughout North America. Large corporations, some from outside of Canada, have purchased many family owned funeral homes and changed the way they operate. We are proud to be family owned and operated from our family to yours. 

McPherson’s will continue to embrace the wishes and needs of our families, finding new and more personal ways to honour their loved ones.